The Amazing Race is a familiar TV show.
But although one of this year’s contestants is from Westport, Kurt Gibson’s name may not be familiar.
He grew up here — and his mother taught Spanish at Bedford Middle School. But Gibson moved to Florida for high school.
Still, he claims Westport as his hometown — it says so, right there on his official CBS bio — so let’s give him a shout-out.
He definitely deserves it.
After leading the University of Florida to an Ultimate Frisbee national championship in 2006 — 2 years after being named ACC Freshman of the Year — and twice finishing in the top 3 voting for college MVP, Gibson was on top of the world.
Suddenly, in August 2008 — at the age of 22 — he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.
Nearly his entire colon was removed. After recovering at his aunt’s house in Westport, Gibson returned to Dallas — where he worked for IBM — for intense chemo.
He lost 25 pounds, and much of his strength. But he fought his way back to health.
In 2009 he joined the Austin Doublewide team in the American Ultimate Disc League. In 2012 they won the club national title — and he was MVP.
Gibson now plays with the San Jose Spiders.
So we’ve got a hometown player to cheer for in the AUDL.
And now one in the Amazing Race too.
(Fun fact: Gibson is not the 1st Westporter to appear on the CBS Show. Derek and Drew Riker did so in Season 3. Hat tips: Joe Xiang and Charlie Stoebe.)